Spring is in the air! The weather is getting warmer and beautiful plants are blooming, but you start experiencing sneezing, nasal congestion, cough, headache and sore muscles. You think to yourself, “Is this allergies, a cold, or even the flu?”
Sometimes it is difficult to know right away if your symptoms are infectious or not. According to the CDC, influenza continues to persist in our communities. So let’s discuss how to differentiate your symptoms and what steps you can take. It is always recommended to make an appointment with your physician to receive the correct diagnosis.
Seasonal allergy symptoms typically present with sneezing, itching eyes, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, headache, or cough. This is what I typically see in office, however, every individual is different. Pink eye may also be associated with seasonal allergies.
Influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu” is also a disease of the upper respiratory tract, but can be associated with other symptoms. For example, you will most likely have a cough, stuffy or runny nose and sore throat, but headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, body aches and diarrhea are also common. Depending on the severity of symptoms you may be able to treat yourself at home, but I always suggest seeking treatment from a physician to aid in faster symptom improvement. Influenza can also lead to secondary infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or dehydration.
A typical common cold will present very similarly to influenza, but is usually not as severe. You may have a cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, stuffy or runny nose, and poor appetite. It is possible to treat palliatively at home but consulting with a physician is always recommended, especially if you experience difficulty breathing, inability to keep down liquids, dizziness or pain in the chest or abdomen.
So, what’s next? The goal of any naturopathic treatment is to help enhance or modulate the body’s own immunity. Nutritional changes, supplementation, herbal remedies, homeopathy, hydrotherapy or acupuncture may be prescribed.
Nutrition: Along with hydration and fluid consumption, it may be recommended to eat lightly to allow the body to focus its efforts on healing.
Botanical Medicine – Seasonal Allergies:
Botanical Medicine – Cold or Flu:
Prevention is very important. But if you do happen to suffer from any symptoms listed above, following recommendations from your physician will lessen the length and severity of your ailments. By being aware of the food you’re consuming and the vitamins and botanicals you take, you can keep that spring in your step this allergy season.